A delegation of the Embassy of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to Botswana and SADC, led by Mr Wang Bangfu, Deputy Chief of Mission, paid a courtesy call on the SADC Secretariat on 27th November 2019. The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo, welcomed the delegation on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Tax.
The two sides commended the finalization of the SADC and China Framework Agreement on Economy, Trade, Investment and Technical Cooperation which was signed in October 2019 to enhance cooperation on areas of mutual interests, in tandem with the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Action Plan outlining cooperation in political, economic, social development, cultural and security areas, as well as the SADC priorities outlined in the Revised RISDP 2015-2020 and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO).
In his remarks, Dr Mhlongo highlighted the need to fast-track operationalization of the Framework Agreement to concretize cooperation in a number of areas in which China has comparative advantage, including trade, industrialisation, science and technology, renewable energy, as well as peace and security by among others revisiting potential support towards the establishment of the SADC Regional Logistics Depot.
On his part Mr Wang Bangfu said that China values cooperation with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as important partners in advancing regional integration agenda, and the Government of China is committed to continue cooperating with SADC in a number of areas on the basis of mutually beneficial relationship.
To express their appreciation towards the ever-growing and important role of SADC Secretariat in advancing the developmental agenda of the region, the Chinese Delegation extended an annual grant amounting US$100,000 to the SADC Secretariat to support its operational needs and implement activities that are in line with SADC priorities.
The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the continued support rendered to the SADC Secretariat and to Member States, including through bilateral relations, and indicated that the annual contribution that the Secretariat received from the Government of China for the past six (6) consecutive years has been instrumental in building the capacity of the Secretariat and in putting in place strategic frameworks to guide the implementation of SADC priorities. He assured the Chinese Government that the annual contribution will continue to be put to good use to advance the work of the SADC Secretariat.
The Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration was accompanied by Mr Andoniaina Andriamiandrisoa, Resource Mobilisation Officer, while the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to Botswana and SADC was accompanied by Mr Li Han, Director of Political and Press Office, and Mr Huang Haixu, Third Secretary.